PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 2019
CONTACT: 
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant
jcrusco@holyangels.org

Service Trip to Connecticut Includes Work with Immigrants & SSNDs

Demarest, NJ: After a week of community service in Connecticut, Academy of the Holy Angels students Samantha DeMartino, Areanna Pumayugra, Amrita Raval, and Ashley Thompson all made the same recommendation for the future. The teen volunteers wanted to spend more time working with the women and children at Caroline House and visiting with their hostesses, the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Their enthusiastic reactions let chaperone Carol Fay, chair of the AHA Religious Studies Department, know the trip was a success.

Pumayugra, a resident of West New York, New Jersey, said she enjoyed working one-on-one with the immigrant women and children who are studying English at Caroline House in Bridgeport. In her post-trip reflection, she said she wanted to spend additional time with the women, and wanted to engage in more educational activities with the children.

Commenting on her group’s visit to Lourdes, a Wilton-based health care facility for the School Sisters, Pumayugra said, “It’s an environment filled with love, care, unity, and happiness. You see it on the women’s faces and in the way they cheer each other on.”

Thompson added that the visit to Lourdes was an uplifting experience. The Nutley teen particularly enjoyed witnessing the friendships among the School Sisters.
Raval agreed that stopping at Lourdes was worthwhile.

“It was one of the best parts, seeing all (the women) laughing and enjoying their time,” the Nanuet, New York resident said. Raval also said she enjoyed meeting the School Sisters and hearing the stories and struggles of the immigrant mothers and children.

One of the struggles many immigrants face is learning English. While the group from AHA was at Caroline House, DeMartino was able to help some women make noticeable progress.

“I loved seeing the women gain confidence to speak English in front of their class just from some help from me,” she said.

The Nutley teen added that she was inspired by the way the School Sisters live and contribute to the greater community.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

 

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